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The scale of this ecological disaster is daunting, and the potential scale and cost of any remediation or cleanup effort is mind-boggling. According to a geochemical survey conducted by the Ministry of Land and Resources between 2002 and 2008, 794 square miles in the area are polluted by…

This river is purple.

newsweek
newsweek:

Astronauts fresh off spacewalks often report that a certain faint, acrid smell tends to cling to their equipment. NASA astronaut Don Pettit described it as “a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation” akin to “welding fumes,” while others have said it reminds them of charred meat.
They were probably smelling polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are compounds produced when stars and planets form. According to Jeff Oishi, a research scientist at the Museum of Natural History in New York, PAHs are present on Earth too—they’re produced when you BBQ! But if you travel 26,000 light years to a dust cloud at the center of the Milky Way called Sagittarius B2, you might catch a whiff of raspberries and maybe rum.
This cloud is stuffed with ethyl formate, an ester that gives both treats their flavor. “Space is pretty boozy,” Oishi says. “There’s no liquid alcohol, but a lot of different kinds of alcohols have been observed.” The constellation Aquila contains enough space booze that, if liquefied, it could fill 400 trillion trillion pints. Interstellar pub crawl, anyone?
What Does Space Smell Like? | Mental Floss

"What’s the smell?"
"Oh, just the byproduct of STARS BRING FORMED."

newsweek:

Astronauts fresh off spacewalks often report that a certain faint, acrid smell tends to cling to their equipment. NASA astronaut Don Pettit described it as “a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation” akin to “welding fumes,” while others have said it reminds them of charred meat.

They were probably smelling polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are compounds produced when stars and planets form. According to Jeff Oishi, a research scientist at the Museum of Natural History in New York, PAHs are present on Earth too—they’re produced when you BBQ! But if you travel 26,000 light years to a dust cloud at the center of the Milky Way called Sagittarius B2, you might catch a whiff of raspberries and maybe rum.

This cloud is stuffed with ethyl formate, an ester that gives both treats their flavor. “Space is pretty boozy,” Oishi says. “There’s no liquid alcohol, but a lot of different kinds of alcohols have been observed.” The constellation Aquila contains enough space booze that, if liquefied, it could fill 400 trillion trillion pints. Interstellar pub crawl, anyone?

What Does Space Smell Like? | Mental Floss

"What’s the smell?"

"Oh, just the byproduct of STARS BRING FORMED."

newsweek
newsweek:

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone.
In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him.
Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.
On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name.
He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad. Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August.
The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.
It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.”
The Vietnam War was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography; Some images, like Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public. But other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.
The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic

Read that Atlantic story.

newsweek:

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone.

In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him.

Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.

On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name.

He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad. Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August.

The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.

It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.”

The Vietnam War was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography; Some images, like Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public. But other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.

The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic

Read that Atlantic story.